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The managerial presidency extolled in the late eighteenth century was just not conceptualized in the policy terms now understood by modern presidentialists. Even if the original presidential office had been intended to be unitary in some administrative sense, the President's originally designed managerial powers cannot logically add up to the contemporary version of unitary power urged upon us by twenty-first century presidentialists, who interpret the Constitution as putting the President personally in charge of the exercise of any or all policy making discretion that Congress may delegate to anyone within the executive branch.

A better view is fully reconcilable with the text and truer to both relevant Supreme Court opinions and our institutional history. It holds that outside those particular subjects that are independently within the President's inherent powers, such as issuing pardons or making treaties, the degree of policy control the President may exercise over subordinate officers is up to Congress. Congress is limited, in turn, only by the Constitution's constraints on the scope of national legislative authority and the President's entitlement to dismiss officers of the United States who are breaking the law or negligent in the execution of their duties.

For this reason, there is an intimate connection between the President's relationship with Congress and the President's relationship to the remainder of the executive establishment. Specifically, the latter is significantly determined by the former. The Constitution gives Congress the political discretion to defer substantially to the pleas of the executive for highly centralized control over administrative agencies, but only if Congress chooses to do so.

The bare framework of Article II leaves presidents with the task of persuading Congress that authorizing such control over any particular agency is in the public interest -- a judgment of policy, not constitutional interpretation. Second , and in contrast to the experience under the Articles of Confederation, it places such civilian superintendence in the hands of a single person. Although that principle, read narrowly, would only prohibit Congress from literally placing someone other than the President atop the U. Thus, as a case in point, Congress likely violated the Clause in an appropriations rider that sought to insulate Ulysses S.

Grant—then the commanding general of the U. As a result of this superintendence principle, when Congress authorizes military operations such as through a declaration of war , it necessarily puts the President in charge of them. A more difficult question is how much authority the Clause gives the President beyond operations approved by Congress. In the debates at Philadelphia, James Madison said that giving Congress the power to declare war would leave the President with power to repel sudden attacks.

Presumably this power arises from the Commander in Chief Clause, read to convey independent substantive power to the President to direct the military on matters not related to war initiation. On this basis, Presidents have claimed authority over a range of military actions, including attacking pirates, rescuing U. These cases indicate that the independent authority conveyed to the President by the Clause generally does not extend to interference with the rights and duties of U.

As a controversial government memorandum argued,. Just as statutes that order the President to conduct warfare in a certain manner or for specific goals would be unconstitutional, so too are laws that seek to prevent the President from gaining the intelligence he believes necessary to prevent attacks upon the United States. In Hamdan v. Rumsfeld , the Supreme Court appeared to reject this argument in invalidating military tribunals created by President Bush to try non-citizen terrorism suspects. But can Congress itself direct how the President exercises that command by requiring or prohibiting certain military actions?

Scholarly opinion is sharply divided on this question. Both views seem to overstate. Contrary to the first view, the Constitution expressly gives Congress significant power over the military. Further, Congress has a long history of regulating the military, including the articles of war precursor of the modern Uniform Code of Military Justice enacted in the immediate post-ratification period. Prior to the Constitution, other nations routinely issued goal-setting declarations and fought limited wars.

Tingy and Little v. Barreme The brief war powers debate at the Philadelphia Convention confirms that this omission was intentional and substantive. The direction of war implies the direction of the common strength; and the power of directing and employing the common strength forms a usual and essential part in the definition of the executive authority. The national government prior to the Constitution lacked separation of powers, combining legislative and executive power in a single multi-member entity, and it was thought defective on that ground.

Among other perceived problems, Congress meddled in the tactical direction of the Revolutionary War. Federalist No. But in general, the former power encompasses creating standing directions and punishments that broadly control behavior of the military such as the articles of war, the Uniform Code of Military Justice, or statutes such as the War Crimes Act ; the latter power refers to contingent orders made in response to developments in battles and campaigns.

The more interesting question is why the Calling Forth Clause has disappeared from our modern view of how the Constitution separates war powers. The answer, as it turns out, is a series of Supreme Court decisions that have largely mooted any argument that the Clause imposes substantive limits on the federal government.

Wood —the Justices concluded that the Calling Forth Clause does not in fact limit the circumstances in which the government may call out the militia, upholding the constitutionality of a draft designed to recruit soldiers to fight in World War I, a purely foreign conflict. More recently, in Perpich v. Department of Defense , the Supreme Court held that members of the National Guard are, for constitutional purposes, federal regulars when called into the active service of the United States—and, like the militia in the cases, may therefore be deployed for purposes other than those outlined in the Calling Forth Clause.

So construed, the Calling Forth Clause undermines the ever-more-visible arguments in favor of strong and unilateral domestic presidential war powers. To the contrary, the reality is that the Constitution expressly envisions a role for Congress to play in providing for governmental responses to even the most existential crises at home, however lost to modern eyes.

This dramatically undermines arguments evoking a broad and unilateral authority for the Commander in Chief in the circumstances contemplated by the Calling Forth Clause, i. At the Founding, the creation of a separate executive was hardly obvious. Nor was it self-evident that one individual would stand at the apex of the executive. Several states had plural executives executive committees and the notion of a plural executive had its backers at the Philadelphia Convention. Few could disagree that the Vesting Clause establishes a unitary executive in the sense that it creates a single executive President.

In this disagreement, two issues predominate. The Vesting Clause grants this entire suite to the President, subject to express limitations in the Constitution. Advocates of the Unitary Executive position often assert that the President can exercise his constitutional powers without congressional interference and that he may direct executive officers.

Notice that neither the two Unitary Executive positions nor the two minimalist positions are necessarily linked to one another. One could conclude that the Vesting Clause minimalists have the better case on the first question while the Unitary Executives have the better view on the second, for example. Yet in practice, people often adopt one pair of related views or the other set. These questions matter. In their purest forms the two understandings of the Vesting Clause—the minimalist and the Unitary Executive—imagine quite different allocations of power and institutional arrangements. But if minimalists have the better reading of the Vesting Clause, what prevents Congress from granting removal protections to the entire bureaucracy, including such officials as the Secretary of State or the Attorney General?

So long as it leaves the President the ability to ensure faithful execution of the laws, Congress might be able to radically refashion his relationship to departments long thought of as executive and under his supervision.

Judicial doctrine on these questions is mixed. The Court has, from time to time, endorsed the idea that the Vesting Clause vests powers independent of the rest of Article II. In a case involving presidential dismissal of a postmaster, Myers v. United States , the Court claimed that the Vesting Clause granted authority to execute the law and to remove executive officials. In a decision from the late nineteenth century, In re Neagle , the Court upheld the authority of the President to assign a federal marshal to protect a Supreme Court justice who had been threatened by a disgruntled litigant, despite the absence of any statute granting that authority.

In United States v. Curtiss-Wright Export Corp. Yet in a series of removal cases, the Court has also approved congressional authority to insulate public officials from executive control. Similarly, in Morrison v. Olson the Court sustained a law that said the executive could remove independent prosecutors for just cause only. The law gave the President sufficient authority to ensure faithful execution, or so the Court held.

And, it should be noted, the Court sometimes avoids resolving questions about the meaning of the Vesting Clause, choosing to rest its decisions on other grounds. Arguments about the Vesting Clause surface whenever the government takes actions that might not fit squarely within existing understandings of how the Constitution separates powers.

Can the President unilaterally terminate a treaty? Can the President resolve international disputes through agreements negotiated by him and then submitted to Congress for implementing legislation as needed, thus operating outside the Treaty Clause? It is much more likely that the branches will reach provisional understandings on many of the disputed questions through the normal processes of politics than that the Supreme Court will cleanly and, once and for all, declare one or the other view correct. In part this is because similar results in many cases can be reached through statutory construction or reliance on other constitutional provisions, without reaching difficult Vesting Clause issues.

In part it is because separation of powers questions often rely heavily on historical practices for their resolution. Though he has an express duty to ensure faithful execution, one could read the Constitution as never granting him any authority to execute the law in the first instance. Moreover, he seems to have but a slender connection to foreign affairs, with a duty to receive ambassadors and a power, subject to a substantial Senate check, of making treaties. Early Presidents, from Washington on, assumed a host of powers—over law execution, foreign policy, and executive officers.

In particular, Washington and his successors controlled correspondence with foreign countries, directed American ambassadors, ousted foreign ambassadors, executed federal laws, directed prosecutors, and regularly commanded and removed executive officers. No statute authorized these actions. The Constitution replicated that system. First, the Vesting Clause never grants to the President the powers granted elsewhere to Congress. Hence our President cannot regulate foreign commerce or declare war. Stripping away these traditional executive powers helps ensure that the Presidency is not too formidable.

Second, specific constitutional checks restrain executive authority. Nor can he pardon impeachment convictions or violations of state law. Executive power minimalists make some respectable arguments. Yet none of them can overcome text, history, and longstanding practice. First, their claims disregard the eighteenth-century meaning of executive power.

Rather it encompassed control of law execution, foreign affairs, and executive officers. Second, rules of interpretation oblige us to heed the differences across the first three Articles. Third, although minimalists sometimes say they wish to avoid redundancies, their theory generates that very problem. Hence minimalists would have us read the Vesting Clause as if it served no purpose.

From time to time, the Supreme Court has embraced the idea that the Vesting Clause grants powers beyond those specifically enumerated in Article II. In Myers v.

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United States , the Court cited the Clause as the source of removal and supervisory powers over executive officers. Nixon v. Fitzgerald unambiguously cited the Clause as a source of three powers—law enforcement, foreign affairs, and a supervisory power over the executive branch. Garamendi , the judiciary affirmed that the Vesting Clause grants foreign-affairs authority. In a rather recent case, Free Enterprise Fund v. Though the Court has read the Clause as granting power, its decisions also have limited its reach. Post- Myers , the Supreme Court essentially sanctioned the creation of a fourth branch of government in the form of numerous independent agencies that simultaneously exercise legislative, executive, and judicial powers.

The most notable such case, Morrison v. Olson , acknowledged that the Vesting Clause granted the President control over prosecutions. Some would read it more narrowly, simply as a signifier that the office of the Presidency will be held by a single person. There is less difference between these two options than meets the eye. What I have called the most natural reading of the constitutional text comports with the widespread Founding-era understanding that the executive officer or officers of government had responsibility for executing the laws.

It would also be inconsistent with the historical and political context of the Founding. To be sure, the experience of the United States under the Articles of Confederation and the individual state constitutions between and led to significant dissatisfaction with government dominated by the legislature, and to considerable interest in a federal government with a stronger executive.

This antipathy was most strongly expressed against potentially oppressive authorities over which the President claimed unilateral sway, the common understanding of prerogative. What I have called the natural reading of the text is supported by the ratification convention debates. One of the recurring criticisms of the Constitution argued that it assigned powers to the President that would produce a return to monarchy. Various public officials, including the opinion for the Supreme Court in Myers v. United States , have subsequently also given voice to it.

The Pacificus essay, however, leaned more heavily on other arguments based on specific and stated presidential powers, which were more than sufficient to carry the defense. Reasonable people can disagree as to whether that presidential power needs to be unfettered with respect to all executive branch officials. United States and later in Morrison v. Bush in his first term provided glimpses into the implications of a very strong reading of the Vesting Clause. President Nixon and his representatives claimed an array of exclusive and preclusive powers.

Article II, Section 3 both grants and constrains presidential power. It further grants the President the authority to adjourn Congress whenever the chambers cannot agree when to adjourn, a power that no President has ever exercised. Section 3 imposes obligations on the President that are varied and significant. The Take Care Clause is arguably a major source of presidential power because it seemingly invests the office with broad enforcement authority. Yet, at the same time, the provision also serves as a major limitation on that power because it underscores that the executive is under a duty to faithfully execute the laws of Congress and not disregard them.

The Take Care Clause has played a central role in momentous constitutional disputes. Legislators have discussed it in many debates regarding the scope of presidential power, including whether the President has a constitutional power to remove federal officers. Sawyer and Myers v. United States , relied upon particular claims about the Clause. Early constitutional discussions shed some light on its meaning. At a minimum, the Clause means that the President may neither breach federal law nor order his or her subordinates to do so, for defiance cannot be considered faithful execution.

The Constitution also incorporates the English bars on dispensing or suspending the law, with some supposing that the Clause itself prohibits both. Hence the Constitution itself never grants the President authority to either authorize private violations of the law issue individualized dispensations or nullify laws suspend their operation.

Beyond these constraints, the Clause raises a number of vexing questions. For instance, must the President enforce even those laws he or she believes to be unconstitutional? Some scholars argue that Presidents must enforce all congressional laws, without regard to his or her own constitutional opinions. In so doing, they somewhat mimic the arguments and practice of President Thomas Jefferson, who refused to enforce the Sedition Act on the grounds that it was unconstitutional. There is also the related question of whether the President must honor statutes that purport to limit his or her authority over law execution.

Can Congress decree by statute that the President must allow others to implement certain statutes without regard to presidential supervision or oversight? Finally, the sweep of contemporary federal law ensures that federal law enforcers have tremendous enforcement discretion. In particular, resource constraints coupled with numerous violations often preclude a policy of total enforcement. Given the inevitable tradeoffs, modern Presidents weigh the costs and benefits of investigation, apprehension, and prosecution, and sometimes create rules for allocating scarce resources across the range of possible investigations and prosecutions.

In this context, judging what counts as faithful execution is laden with value judgments about the relative merits of certain enforcement priorities over others. Moreover, contentious disputes about the scope of discretion invariably revolve around claims that the President has violated his or her duty of faithful execution by failing to adopt a particular enforcement policy or strategy.

At the time of the Framing it was assumed that the most powerful branch of government was the legislature. Most of Article II, Section 3 has been inconsequential. Yet there are notable changes in practice that bear on that section. Today, however, any notion that Congress is twice as powerful as the Presidency would be dismissed as fanciful.

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The Presidency is the most powerful branch. Article II, Section 3 has not played a major role in presidential power expansion although as discussed below, it should be interpreted in light of that expansion. Vast accretions of federal power. There are a number of reasons why the President has become so dominant.

First, the Presidency has become the focus of national power and culture, giving the President the unique ability to set the political agenda. In drama, magnitude and finality his decisions so far overshadow any others that almost alone he fills the public eye and ear.

Second, presidential power has expanded because each successive President is able to rely on the actions of their predecessors in justifying their own use of power. In this way, the use of presidential power works as a one-way ratchet with each President building on the actions of those that came before. The President directs an administrative state that oversees everything from prescription drugs to smoke stack emissions to college sports and from economic development to workplace safety to national parks management.

As a result, the President has the ability to make decisions that reach almost every aspect of American life. Further, as head of the federal government, presidents have unparalleled resources to use in advancing their political agenda. This includes access to military and civilian intelligence, the expertise and assistance of countless federal agencies, and the command of the most powerful military in the world. No other branch has such resources at its disposal.

Fourth, presidential power has expanded because of the need for exigent decisionmaking in the modern world. The suddenness with which contemporary events demand government response inevitably invests power in the only branch capable of reacting immediately—the Executive.

Fifth, presidential power has increased because of the changed nature of politics. In the current political environment, those elected to Congress often see their political duty as supporting their party rather than protecting their institutional concerns as legislators. Further, and paradoxically, contemporary politics has served to increase presidential power even when the Presidency and the Congress are controlled by different parties. It is against this recognition of presidential power dominance that specific issues raised by Section 3—and particularly the Take Care Clause—should be analyzed.

Given that the Constitution was designed to allow branches to check other branches, one should be cautious in interpreting particular provisions in a manner that would add to the current imbalance. But given the scope and breadth of the administrative state, there are often strong reasons for insulating particular agencies from political control in order to foster independent, nonpartisan decisionmaking.

Concerns with centering too much power in the Presidency also arise in relation to whether Presidents must comply with and defend laws that they believe are unconstitutional. Some contend that the Take Care provision grants Presidents wide discretion to disregard laws that they believe are unconstitutional even when there are substantial arguments to the contrary. Others suggest that Presidents may only refuse to comply with or defend laws when there is absolutely no credible constitutional defense of those provisions.

Given that reasoned constitutional interpretation varies so widely, the latter may be the better route. Otherwise, Presidents may be able to end-run the actions of Congress too easily. Presidents have, and should have, wide-ranging discretion on how to enforce particular laws. As Professor Prakash points out in his essay, enforcing every federal law against every offender would be impossible. Further, there seems to be little doubt that Presidents may take policy considerations into account when setting enforcement priorities. To this point, the courts have not yet come up with an answer to this question.

But at some point, they will be forced to. Despite the State of the Union Clause, the executive is increasingly unwilling to share information with Congress. Nixon , the executive often withholds information from Congress. The Take Care Clause has the most modern resonance. The Take Care Clause is the focus of several ongoing disputes.

First, consider restrictions on the removal of officers. In a series of unfortunate cases, the Supreme Court has sanctioned the creation of independent agencies, which operate as a fourth branch of government. These agencies execute various federal laws communications, banking, securities by investigating and prosecuting alleged violations. It is hard to escape the conclusion that such statutes are unconstitutional. They violate the grant of executive power and interfere with the Take Care Clause duty. Moreover, Congress has erected statutory obstacles making it rather difficult for the President to judge whether the law is being faithfully executed.

Second, there are continuing disagreements about whether the President must abide by, defend, and enforce laws that he regards as unconstitutional. Presidents sometimes declare that because they believe parts of a law to be unconstitutional, they will ignore those provisions. Some scholars have argued that the Take Care Clause prohibits the President from refusing to honor, defend, and enforce federal laws. Once a bill becomes law, the President must enforce it. A contrary and better view supposes that unconstitutional laws are void from the beginning and thus not subject to the Clause.

Though the Supreme Court has never held that the President may decline to enforce unconstitutional statutes, numerous Justices have hinted at such authority. Moreover, the practice goes back to Thomas Jefferson, when he refused to continue prosecuting individuals for violations of a statute he believed to be unconstitutional. Jefferson said that the alleged statute the infamous Sedition Act was no law at all and hence not subject to the Take Care Clause. Lastly, there are recurring clashes about when and whether the President may decline to enforce statutes based on policy reasons.

The Constitution never conveys any power to decline to enforce to suspend a statute. That much is clear. Yet despite this constraint, Presidents will almost necessarily enjoy a great deal of enforcement discretion. To begin with, using his constitutional power to pardon, the President can forgive offenses even before trial or conviction, meaning that executive officers need not investigate and prosecute every offender of federal law.

Moreover, resource constraints coupled with innumerable violations of federal law preclude complete enforcement of all federal laws. There are too many laws, too many scofflaws, and but limited resources. Given the inevitable tradeoffs, Presidents may allocate scarce enforcement resources after weighing the costs and benefits of investigation, apprehension, and prosecution. Recognizing that it would be highly impolitic to assert a constitutional power to decline to enforce statutes, modern Presidents carefully avoid embracing such a power. Instead, they invariably argue that the laws implicitly or explicitly convey enforcement discretion.

Critics of these presidential measures deny that the statutes in question grant discretion and argue that in declining to enforce a law the President has violated his Faithful Execution duties. Discerning the truth of the matter requires a careful consideration of the relevant statutes, including enforcement resources. Sometimes there are no easy answers. In practice, impeachments by the House have been rare, and convictions after a trial by the Senate even less common. Two Presidents, one Senator, one cabinet officer, and fifteen judges have been impeached, and of those only eight judges have been convicted and removed from office.

Sometimes, public knowledge of the existence of a specific document is subtly suppressed, a situation resembling censorship. The authorities taking such action will justify it by declaring the work to be " subversive " or "inconvenient". An example is Michel Foucault 's text Sexual Morality and the Law later republished as The Danger of Child Sexuality , originally published as La loi de la pudeur [literally, "the law of decency"]. This work defends the decriminalization of statutory rape and the abolition of age of consent laws.


  • Censorship.
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When a publisher comes under pressure to suppress a book, but has already entered into a contract with the author, they will sometimes effectively censor the book by deliberately ordering a small print run and making minimal, if any, attempts to publicize it. This practice became known in the early s as privishing priv ate publ ishing. Censorship has been criticized throughout history for being unfair and hindering progress. In a essay on Internet censorship, social commentator Michael Landier claims that censorship is counterproductive as it prevents the censored topic from being discussed.

Landier expands his argument by claiming that those who impose censorship must consider what they censor to be true, as individuals believing themselves to be correct would welcome the opportunity to disprove those with opposing views. Censorship is often used to impose moral values on society, as in the censorship of material considered obscene. English novelist E. Forster was a staunch opponent of censoring material on the grounds that it was obscene or immoral, raising the issue of moral subjectivity and the constant changing of moral values.

When the novel Lady Chatterley's Lover was put on trial in , Forster wrote: []. Lady Chatterley's Lover is a literary work of importance I do not think that it could be held obscene, but am in a difficulty here, for the reason that I have never been able to follow the legal definition of obscenity. The law tells me that obscenity may deprave and corrupt, but as far as I know, it offers no definition of depravity or corruption.

Censorship by country collects information on censorship, internet censorship , press freedom , freedom of speech , and human rights by country and presents it in a sortable table, together with links to articles with more information. In addition to countries, the table includes information on former countries, disputed countries, political sub-units within countries, and regional organizations. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For Wikipedia's policy concerning censorship, see Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not censored.

The practice of suppressing information. Nikolai Yezhov , the man strolling to Joseph Stalin 's left, was executed in Because of Censorship in the Soviet Union the soviet censors edited him out of the photo. Main article: Political censorship. Main article: Censorship in Canada. Main article: Censorship in Cuba. Main article: Censorship in China. Main article: Censorship in Iran. Main article: Censorship in North Korea. See also: Censorship in Serbia.

This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. May Learn how and when to remove this template message. Further information: Censorship in Singapore and Media censorship in Singapore. Main article: Censorship in the Soviet Union. Main article: Censorship in Spain. See also: Censorship in Turkey and block of Wikipedia in Turkey.

Main article: Censorship in the United Kingdom. Main article: Censorship by religion. Main article: Self-censorship. Main article: Book censorship. Main article: Film censorship. Main article: Censorship of music. Main article: Censorship of maps. Main article: Internet censorship. Little or no. Main articles: Video game censorship and List of regionally censored video games.

See also: Surveillance , Mass surveillance , and Computer and network surveillance. Main article: Censorship by country. Freedom of speech portal Journalism portal. Related articles Academic freedom , also known as Scientific freedom Amazon. Victoria and Albert Museum. Retrieved 29 May Retrieved 30 January The American Heritage Dictionary. Oxford Living Dictionaries. The Newseum. Archived from the original on 20 March Retrieved Apology , 24— US National Library of Medicine.

National Institutes of Health. Retrieved September 12, Frey January Archived from the original PDF on Archived from the original on March 16, John Benjamins Publishing Company. Verhulst; Tony Prosser Oxford University Press. The Committee to Protect Journalists. Reporters Without Borders. Politico Europe. EU Observer. BBC News. National Coalition Against Censorship. Christian Science Monitor. International Encyclopedia of the First World War. Fahrenheit Del Rey Books. April Archived from the original on New York: OR Books.

Archived from the original on 7 May Retrieved 23 April Retrieved 23 October Journalism under pressure. Unwarranted interference, fear and self-censorship in Europe. Strasbourg: Council of Europe publishing. Retrieved 12 May Pew Research Center. Council of Europe. In particular, are efforts aimed at addressing basic human needs in countries afflicted by civil strife effective in shaming or inspiring leaders to better care for those dependent on them, or do they merely in practice serve to absolve them from their responsibilities to local populations?

Here, regional differences may be significant. Several of the authors of ensuing chapters have argued, directly or indirectly, that in a world awash with weapons—many of them produced in countries with few other viable exports—the best means of choking off arms supplies to belligerents is to turn off the financial spigot.

This volume illustrates how difficult this will be. Policy instruments could certainly be crafted to do so, but this prospect seems still distant, because knowledge is as yet scant, the motivations of key international actors conflict, the governments of major powers have often displayed a mercantilist bent even where conflict threatens or rages, and, there is understandable although excessive reluctance by leading governments to focus on the role of multinational companies in the drama.

We hope that this volume may represent a modest step in this direction. Martin's Press, , For a sophisticated discussion of the liberal view of globalization see also Andrew Hurrell and Ngaire Woods, "Globalisation and Inequality," Millennium: Journal of International Studies , 24, no. Hurrell, "Explaining the Resurgence of Regionalism," Stephen Ellis, The Mask of Anarchy , For an attempt to substantiate this assertion with respect to two particular areas of external support—the disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration of combatants after conflict, and the restructuring of the "security sector," see Mats Berdal and David Keen, "Violence and Economic Agendas in Civil Wars: Some Policy Implications," Millennium: Journal of International Studies , 26, no.

The debate sparked at the UN following Kofi Annan's advocacy, in a September speech to the General Assembly of greater international willingness to intervene in support of humanitarian goals, demonstrates how lively and serious the issue remains. For example, see Jackie Cilliers and Peggy Mason eds. Recent action by Canada somewhat breaks the mold. Its permanent representative to the UN, Robert Fowler, who chairs the UN Security Council's Angola sanctions committee, in May traveled to Africa and other venues relevant to the diamond trade in order to engage with those active in this trade and encourage better compliance with the sanctions regime against UNITA.

Academic and NGO research played a significant role in influencing Canadian thinking on sanctions. Those who wish to facilitate peace will be well advised to understand the nature of war. Yet the label war is one that often conceals as much as it reveals. We think we know what a war is, but this in itself is a source of difficulty: Throwing a label at the problem of conflict may further obscure its origins and functions; and the label, moreover, may be very useful for those who wish to promote certain kinds of violence.

The idea of war can confer a kind of legitimacy upon certain types of violence, given the widespread belief that certain kinds of war are just and legitimate. This chapter attempts to throw some light on the nature of contemporary warfare by looking closely at some of its functions—notably, the economic functions, which are often partially obscured. The chapter challenges two common notions: that war is a contest between two sides, with each trying to win; and that war represents only a breakdown or collapse rather than the creation of an alternative system of profit, power, and protection.

A number of economic functions of warfare are outlined, and attention is given to the interaction of political and economic agendas. Partly in reaction to the perceived inappropriateness of the traditional model of warfare as a contest between two disciplined teams, analysts in recent years have often portrayed war as a kind of breakdown. Conflicts have frequently been explained as the result of intractable ethnic hatreds or a descent into tribal violence and anarchy.

Although the demise of the Cold War has apparently facilitated progress toward peace in some areas like Central America, it has not significantly stemmed the tide of civil conflicts across the world. Some conflicts have been born precisely from the demise of Communist regimes in Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union. Others—such as those in Angola, Burma, and Sudan—have simply refused to go away. Even the apparent "success stories" of conflict resolution—such as El Salvador, Mozambique, and most especially Cambodia—have shown signs that they may yet be mired in intractable conflicts.

In these circumstances, one of the most urgent tasks is to gain a better understanding of the internal dynamics that appear to be generating and sustaining a range of contemporary civil conflicts. Such an understanding will be necessary for anyone thinking of "policy prescriptions" that might facilitate a lasting peace: A good doctor will need to get some idea of the nature of the disease before rushing to the medicine cabinet to pull out a remedy.

Discussion of internal dynamics tended to be minimal and unsophisticated during the Cold War, and unfortunately it has often remained so in the post—Cold War era. Many analysts have stressed the irrationality and unpredictability of contemporary civil warfare, portraying it as evil, medieval, or both. Contemporary civil conflicts often give the appearance of mindless and senseless violence, with a proliferation of militias, chains of command breaking down, and repeated brutal attacks on civilians.

In , Robert Kaplan famously claimed to have detected a "coming anarchy" in West Africa and beyond, a descent into mindless violence propelled by a kind of "witches' brew" of over-population, tribalism, drugs, and environmental decline. Kaplan is only one of a number of analysts who have pointed to an apparent resurgence in "tribalism.

This was a major theme in Kaplan's Balkan Ghosts , sometimes seen as influential in persuading the Clinton administration that little could be done to resolve hostilities in the former Yugoslavia. The need to ensure peace between competing "tribes" or ethnic groups has also been an enduring theme in British policy—in both the colonial and postcolonial eras. Another strand of the literature on contemporary civil wars, which we might call the "development" literature, emphasizes the negative consequences especially economic of war.

Not unnaturally, war is portrayed as disrupting the economy, an interruption in a process of development that is seen as largely benevolent. From those adhering to this apparently common-sense perspective including many UN agencies and NGOs , it is common to hear appeals for a speedy transition from wartime "relief" back to "development," a transition that is sometimes urged even while conflict is still raging.

In the aftermath of a conflict, homage is habitually paid to a set of goals that appears to be self-evidently desirable. Significantly, these usually begin with the prefix "re": for example, rehabilitation, reconstruction, repatriation, and resettlement. Such interpretations should not be too readily dismissed.

The economic devastation wrought by wars is all too evident and has been well documented. The importance of ethnic tensions is also clear in many countries. However, the emphasis on war as irrational anarchy or as a dramatic setback to development tends to give a dangerous and in many ways misleading impression that war and perhaps particularly civil war is a disaster for almost everyone concerned. The resulting temptation is to turn away from warfare as quickly as possible, to put the madness of war into the past, and to get back to "normal" with the greatest possible haste.

Of course, it is quite possible to put forward a number of causes of the apparent futility of war, whether these are religious, political, ethnic, or whatever. But the habitual and natural emphasis on war as a negative phenomenon, the idea of war as breakdown, may ultimately induce in the observer a sense of puzzlement: How is it that a phenomenon so universally disastrous could be allowed, and indeed made, so frequently to happen—and very often to persist over years or decades?

And there is a further problem: One is likely to gain little sense, in the habitual enthusiasm to restore the prewar economy, of the way that war was generated by precisely this status quo ante. Those who point to "ancient ethnic hatreds" as a root cause of civil conflicts will need to explain why a variety of "hostile" peoples have been able to live peacefully alongside each other for long periods, or why, for example, the Baggara pastoralists of western Sudan have raided their fellow Arabs among the neighboring Fur and their coreligionists among the Nuba.

As David Turton 1 and David Campbell 2 have argued, the "ethnic hatreds" school has often failed to recognize that ethnicity—and the importance attached to it—is shaped by conflict rather than simply shaping it. More worrisome, those who are ready to use easy labels and to accept the inevitability of ethnic violence may actually play into the hands of local actors seeking to bolster their own power and privileges by forcing politics along ethnic lines and by presenting themselves internationally and domestically as the leaders of "ethnic groups.

The rigidity sometimes visible in academic disciplines has sometimes further muddied the waters. Disciplines like economics and political science usually focus on a restricted area that is ordered and predictable; and when messy phenomena like contemporary civil wars do not fall easily within the orbit of these systems of analysis, the temptation to wheel out the label of chaos is very great.

Moreover, at both the national and international levels, there may be vested interests not only in chaos and ethnic strife but in the depiction of chaos and ethnic strife. Rather than portraying war as irrational or as an aberration or interruption in development, I want to stress the importance of investigating how violence is generated by particular political economies, which it in turn modifies but does not destroy. Part of the problem with much existing analysis is that conflict continues to be regarded as simply a breakdown in a particular system rather than as the emergence of an alternative system of profit, power, and even protection.

Yet the problem of war should also be put in more positive terms. What use is war? What functions does it perform? The functions of violence in civil wars can be divided into two broad categories. First, violence may be oriented toward changing or retaining the laws and administrative procedures of a society. In a sense, this is political violence. Of course, much of this political violence centers on the long-term distribution of economic resources: For example, violence may be used to protect or undermine economic privileges such as landowner-ship that are cemented through control of the state.

Second, violence may be aimed at circumnavigating the law—not so much changing the law as ignoring it. This covers a range of functions that, rather than being concerned with rewriting the rules at the national level, are local and immediate. The local and immediate functions of violence are of three main types: economic, security, and psychological.

All of them suggest limitations in state-centric analysis. It may be safer to be in an armed band than outside one, particularly when the majority of attacks are being directed against civilians. And violence may provide a range of psychological payoffs, including an immediate reversal of relationships of dominance and humiliation that have sometimes prevailed in peacetime.

Participation in armed groups may also offer excitement and a chance to revenge past wrongdoings. Even acts of revenge, vandalism, and ritual humiliation which appear to serve no economic, military, or political purpose should not always be seen as "mindless" or "senseless. Where civil wars have not simply been dismissed as a form of madness or irrationality, they have traditionally been viewed as a political insurrection that is met with a counterinsurgency.

This model appeared particularly applicable from the s to the early s, when anticolonial wars often ran alongside and sometimes gave way to a variety of revolutionary struggles. Of course, traditional revolutionary and political struggles such as the struggle for land reform in Latin America have not simply gone away just because the Cold War era has drawn to a close. However, two characteristics have set many recent conflicts apart from this "revolutionary" model. First, much of the violence has been initiated not so much by revolutionaries seeking to transform the state as by a range of elites seeking to deflect political threats by inciting violence, often along ethnic lines.

Many of these elites have been those who gained ascendancy in postcolonial states, and many others enjoyed privileges under Communist regimes. Pressure for democratization often internal and international has constituted a threat to such elites, and sometimes this pressure for democratization has been combined with outright rebellion. These threats, often combined with conditions of economic austerity, have created conditions for major "elite backlashes. Although elites have often amassed considerable personal wealth, they have frequently presided over states that lack the means for effective and disciplined counterinsurgency not least because available revenues have been siphoned into private pockets.

In these circumstances, and particularly in Africa, we have seen elites repeatedly recruiting civilians into unpaid or underpaid armies or militias. Such recruitment has typically, but not always, been along ethnic lines. Very often, some combination of fear, need, and greed has created a willingness to be mobilized for violence among this civilian population.

This brings us to the second deviation from the traditional conception of civil war: the fact that for many of those implementing violence and indeed for many of those orchestrating it , the violence has often served more immediate functions, often economic in nature. Conflicts have seen the emergence of war economies often centered in particular regions controlled by rebels or warlords and linked to international trading networks.

Members of armed gangs have profited from looting and other forms of violent economic activity. And chains of command have become notably weak in a number of countries, including Somalia, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. These developments add to the difficulties of bringing violence to an end, both because many may have a vested interest in prolonging violence and because "leaders" may be unable to control their followers. Civil wars are not static over time. A growing proportion of civil wars appear to have started with the aim of taking over or retaining the reins of the state or of breaking away in a secessionist revolt and appear to have subsequently mutated often very quickly into wars where immediate agendas assume an increasingly important role.

These immediate agendas notably economic agendas may significantly prolong civil wars: Not only do they constitute a vested interest in continued conflict, they also tend to create widespread destitution, which itself may feed into economically motivated violence. It is helpful to distinguish between "top-down" violence and "bottom-up" violence. Top-down violence refers to violence that is mobilized by political leaders and entrepreneurs—whether for political or economic reasons.

The existence of powerful groups mobilizing violence from the top will be sufficient to create large-scale violence where major coercion is used to get recruits. However, in practice violence has often been actively embraced by a variety of ordinary people either civilians or low-ranking soldiers as a solution to problems of their own. This can be called bottom-up violence. Getting involved in violence may serve a range of psychological and even security functions as well as economic functions.

Often, a regressive, top-down political function will combine with more local and immediate aims on the part of those at the bottom. In order to move toward more lasting solutions for the problem of mass violence, we may need to understand and acknowledge that for significant groups this violence represents not a problem but a solution. We need to think of modifying the structure of incentives that are encouraging people to orchestrate, fund, or perpetrate acts of violence. The idea that violence may offer a solution —whether for some of those "at the top" or for some of those "at the bottom"—tends to get missed in human rights discussions.

Here, the emphasis is often on condemnation rather than explanation, and violence may be labeled as inhumane or even inhuman, as if it were not human beings with all their diverse motivations of need, greed, fear, lust, resentment, and, indeed, altruism that were carrying out these acts. Although violence is often projected as outside the normal human experience or as invading a country like an enemy virus, violence may also be actively generated by particular cultures, societies, and economies.

The Oklahoma City bombing was perhaps a particularly startling example of a violence that was initially blamed on external factors—with local suspicions falling initially on Muslims in the area—but that was soon found to have sprung from the ideology of white extremists, a term that is more appropriate than we might think since followers had taken to an extreme certain elements of American culture, including a hostility to central government and a desire to defend the possession of guns. If contemporary civil wars have been widely labeled as mindless, mad, and senseless, in some ways nineteenth- and twentieth-century Western notions of war may be closer to madness.

When war is seen as an occasion for risking death in the name of the nation state and with little prospect of financial gain, it may take months of brainwashing and ritual humiliation to convince new recruits of the notion. A war where one avoids battles, picks on unarmed civilians, and makes money may make more sense.

Part of the allure of labels such as "ethnic hatred," "mindless violence," and "chaos" is that many contemporary civil wars have been seen to depart from the traditional model of two competing professional teams with civilians as bystanders. However, a better reaction to problems with this traditional model would be to think again about the aims of warfare.

Russia and Europe (1547–1917)

A common assumption has been that parties to a civil war are only concerned with gaining or retaining control of the state. Another has been that the aim in a war is to win it. Yet both are open to question. Civil wars have usually been presented as a contest between government and rebel groups, with each seeking to "win the war" and "defeat the enemy.

However, the image of war as a contest has sometimes come to serve as a smokescreen for the emergence of a wartime political economy from which rebels and even the government and government-affiliated groups may be benefiting. As a result of these benefits, some parties may be more anxious to prolong a war than to win it. Civil wars have often, rather misleadingly, been discussed as if both government and rebel forces were homogenous: The tale, very often, is of rebel advances and government fight-backs or vice versa , as if these were two rival armies in World War II.

A more sophisticated kind of analysis considers how the success of either side is influenced by its ability to garner support from a variety of groups in civil society. This aspect of the problem was highlighted by Mao's famous analysis of the fishes and the sea, and it was to some extent taken on board by governments seeking to resist revolutionary movements as in U. However, an analysis emphasizing the need to garner support may not go far enough: In some circumstances, the most revealing question may not be which groups support a rebellion or counterinsurgency campaign but which groups seek to take advantage of a rebellion or a counterinsurgency campaign and for which kinds of purposes of their own.

Just as this question can usefully be applied to those in a position to orchestrate violence from the top, it can usefully be applied to ordinary civilians. The military historian von Clausewitz saw war as overwhelmingly waged by states, which were envisaged as possessing a monopoly on the means of violence. He famously said that war was a continuation of politics by other means.

But states may not have a monopoly on the means of violence, and rebel groups may also find it hard to direct or control violence within their areas of operation. Particularly where chains of command are weak, war may be a continuation of economics by other means. In the course of a political struggle over the state, it may be necessary to harness the energies, violence, and grievances of groups who are not fully in your pay or your control—particularly in a weak state—that is, a state that is unable to extend security or basic services, including the rule of law, to its population.

This may have the effect of privatizing violence, with economic agendas assuming considerable importance. Elites are likely to try to harness economic agendas within civil society in order to fight civil wars on the cheap: Violent private accumulation at the local level can serve as a substitute for supplies from the center. In addition, in weak states elites are likely to try to mobilize violence to carve out private profits from civil conflict.

For rebels, the incentive to take over the state may not be all that great in circumstances where the state is unable either to monopolize violence or to tax economic activity. In certain respects, the licensing of economically motivated violence represents a return to the past. In medieval Europe and well into the eighteenth century, before strong states had been established, conflict was funded to a large extent through plundering civilians, which compensated for inadequate provisioning and for pay that was generally low, late, or nonexistent.

Particularly in a context where some states have come close to collapsing, the assessment of warfare in medieval Europe made by Contamine would appear to be relevant today. He noted that warfare could be deliberately spread from the top through a decision by official authorities or it could rise from below. Medieval conflicts were also characterized by a tendency to avoid pitched battles.

Dangerous new elements have been added, however.


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The value of particular minerals, crops, and areas of land has been boosted by demand from abroad. The state has often been intentionally run down by international financial institutions. And the availability of cheap automatic weapons has risen sharply. Whereas medieval patterns of warfare were eroded by the rise of modern, bureaucratic states in Europe, such states have still not been properly established in many parts of the world, and in Eastern Europe there has been something of a retreat from them.

The weakness of states in many countries has reflected their weak economies often based primarily on agricultural production and the export of primary products as well as the limited ability of governments to capture this economic activity. This difficulty in raising revenue typically reflects the low pay of state officials which makes them susceptible to corruption and a shortage of capital which allows foreign investors to drive a tough bargain on the distribution of profits from primary production in particular.

Warlord Era

If the institutions of the state such as schools, social security, police, and the army are eroded by international pressures for austerity or by economic crisis more generally, this state will find it hard to address the needs that may otherwise be met through a resort to violence. Government counterinsurgency and policing functions can all too easily break down into economic violence, in turn encouraging a surge in sympathy for the rebels that governments purport to be opposing.

The way that pursuit of local and immediate solutions to economic and psychological grievances can count against military success has been shown in Sierra Leone, where rebel Revolutionary United Front RUF atrocities against, and exploitation of, civilians have alienated civilians from their cause. The same can also be said of the abusive and exploitative counterinsurgency in Sierra Leone, especially in the period — These "counterproductive" actions have often continued even beyond the point when it becomes clear they are inhibiting military and political goals, underlining the point that the aim of war is not necessarily to win it.

Abuses against civilians have usually been portrayed as an unfortunate deviation from the laws of war or as a means to a military end. However, such abuses may confer benefits that have little or nothing to do with winning the war and may actively impede this endeavor. The "point" of war may lie precisely in the legitimacy it confers on these abuses—in other words, the legitimacy it confers on actions that in peacetime would be punishable as crimes.

Whereas analysts have tended to assume that war is the "end" and abuses the "means," it is important to consider the opposite possibility: that the "end" is to engage in abuses or crimes that bring immediate rewards, whereas the "means" is war and the perpetuation of war. Various groups—including government officials, traders, and soldiers—may take advantage of conflict and conflict-related scarcities. Many short-term economic functions of violence do not depend on control of the reins of state.

One subcategory is pillage. The fruits of pillage have often been used to supplement—or even to replace—the wages and salaries of soldiers or other officials, a standard practice in medieval warfare that found echoes in former Yugoslavia and Zaire, to give just two examples among many. A second immediate economic function of warfare is securing protection money from those who are spared from having violence or confinement inflicted upon them.

A third immediate economic function is the monopolistic control of trade. War—like famine—may lead to price movements that are very profitable for some. And in the context of a war, it may be particularly easy to subject trading rivals to a variety of threats and constraints. Wartime trading restrictions imposed by governments may be very profitable for officials who allow breaches of these restrictions. Alternatively, a partial breakdown in state control may facilitate previously prohibited trade, for example in drugs.

In general, the distribution of resources may be governed less by market forces than by "forced markets. In northern Somalia, in the s, war was used by clans associated with Siad Barre as a means of divesting members of the Isaak clan of their property, jobs, and businesses. One specialized but particularly profitable aspect of trade may be in the procurement of arms. A fourth short-term function of conflict is that it may facilitate the exploitation of labor. Threatening violence against an individual or group may be used to force the individual or group to work cheaply or for free.

In extreme cases, such as in Burma and Sudan, conflict has facilitated the reemergence of forms of slavery. A fifth short-term economic function of conflict—not quite immediate, but still relying on direct action rather than control of the state—is the prospect of staking a direct claim to land.

Conflict may lead to the partial or near total depopulation of tracts of land, allowing new groups to stake a claim to land, water, and mineral resources. These were some of the important economic benefits promised and to some extent delivered by warfare and related famine in Sudan in the late s.

A sixth short-term economic function of conflict may lie in the benefits extracted from aid that is sent during the conflict. In some circumstances, the prospect of appropriating relief appears to have encouraged raiding, since raiding can create predictable suffering and a predictable windfall of aid. Violence may serve a purpose, first, in precipitating relief and, second, in gaining access to this relief once it arrives.

A final set of short-term economic benefits that may arise from conflict are those institutionalized benefits accruing to the military. Many of these processes may have a defensive component.

Greed & Grievance

In the case of pillage and gaining forcible access to labor and land, some persons may resort to violence as a way of protecting themselves from such forced transfers. The need to defend oneself against economically motivated violence is one of the factors underpinning the growing role of private security firms during civil conflict. To some extent, both rebel groups and groups allied with the government may expropriate food, "taxes," and labor for the purpose of making war—in other words, they may exploit civilians in order to fight a war. But they may also fight a war in order to exploit civilians: A situation of "war" may provide, in effect, a license to take advantage of particular groups of civilians.

Civil conflicts have typically seen the emergence of groups often ethnic groups who can safely and, in a sense, legitimately be subjected to extreme exploitation, violence, and famine. Some groups fall below the law, and some are elevated above it. This process may take place in peacetime as well as wartime, and it can precipitate, as well as shape, outright conflict.

Particular communities may experience a process of falling below the law and of losing the law's protection, eventually prompting outright rebellion—the experience of the Nuba and southern Sudanese is a good example. Paul Collier has emphasized the importance of greed rather than grievance in driving civil wars. My own work gives a good deal of importance to economic motivations. However, this process of falling below the law underlines the continuing importance of grievances and not greed in contemporary conflicts.

Indeed, we need to understand how the two interact. Rather than a traditional model of conflict as a contest between two sides trying to win, or a model that suggests political agendas have been replaced by economic agendas, I urge the importance of investigating how it is that particular groups can come to fall at least partially outside the physical and economic protection of the state, the exploitation or expropriation of these groups by those having superior access to the state sometimes in alliance with international capital , the generation of a sense of grievance and of rebellion among these exploited groups, and the hyperexploitation and hyperexpropriation of "rebel suspects" that typically take place under the cover of an outright conflict.

Or, to put it another way, we need to investigate how greed generates grievances and rebellion, legitimizing further greed. The first part of this dialectic is frequently labeled "peace," and the second, "war. Abuses against civilians frequently create their own justification—in Sudan, for example, abuses have stimulated support for the other side that was previously weak or absent. The concept of war provides a convenient cover both for greed and for the suppression and division of political opposition that is designed to remedy grievances. Labeling political opponents as rebels is one convenient way of limiting political opposition.

In wartime—as Burma, Sierra Leone, and Sudan attest—it can be a relatively easy matter to accuse unarmed civilians of collaboration with one side or another, and to use such accusations as legitimacy for widespread exploitation. Another way of weakening political opposition is by deflecting the discontent of one ethnic group by turning their frustrations against another ethnic group. A third way to limit political opposition is to prolong the war, which legitimizes its suppression. Undemocratic or "exclusive" regimes have often sought to protect the economic interests of their supporters by portraying certain kinds of political opposition including trade unions as manifestations of rebel activity or as the work of enemy sympathizers.

This can provide cover for moves against the opposition, and the concept of a rebel or an enemy may be kept conveniently fluid. A continuation of conflict may serve to stifle political opposition through the preservation of a military regime—the declaration and prolongation of "states of emergency" that accord special powers to repressive governments or the military—and through restrictions on freedom of speech that are justified as part of a "war effort.